This is a partnered post.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” It may also be the most stressful and hectic time of the year! But, fear not, if you’re going away this year with the kids then it doesn’t have to be stressful, it really can be wonderful and magical and be a Christmas you’ll never forget. You just have to remember these top tips:
Tell Santa Where You’ll Be
Probably the biggest concern for children who are travelling at Christmas is “How will Santa know where we are?” Easily solved – get your children to let Santa know in their Christmas letter. If you do the Elf on the Shelf thing too, then the kids could also ask the Elf to tell Santa where they will be on Christmas Eve. Just don’t forget to pack the Elf!
While you’re away, the kids can also track Santa online using the Norad Santa Tracker to make sure they know he is coming to wherever you are.
Pick Somewhere Family-Friendly To Stay
Whether you’re going away to stay with friends or family or going away on your own to a hotel or resort, make sure you have picked somewhere that is warm and friendly for your family. If you’re going somewhere like Lapland or going skiing, or staying in a cute cosy cottage then these places are set up for a snug and homely Christmas, however if you’re going to stay in a hotel in Australia or the Maldives or Dubai, and then you still want to make sure that you’re somewhere satisfying seasonal, in spite of the weather on the big day.
Book Everything In Advance
Remember that no matter where you are really, Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year and one that is the most booked up in advance. Before you make any promises to your kids about what you’ll be doing, check what’s on and get tickets organised.
Opt For A Distraction On Christmas Eve
A big part of keeping the holiday excitement is having plenty of fun things to do, especially at Christmas time when your kids might feel more homesick than they would on another holiday. Plan something special for Christmas Eve, check out Pantomimes, kids’ theatre, ballets and concerts or you’re staying in a hotel, then see what entertainment is on there. Have a look around the local area too, think about local theme-park shows or even see if there’s somewhere they are showing Christmas films (perhaps bring a few of your own just in case).
Plan For Christmas Day
No matter where you are in the world, a lot of places will be closed on Christmas day. And, unlike back home, your kids won’t have cousins or Christmas TV to keep them entertained. Take advantage of what your destination has to offer. Go sledging or skiing if you are going somewhere cold and if not then organise a treasure hunt or build a ‘sandman’ on the beach if you’re going somewhere hot.
Don’t Forget The All Important Presents
You can leave the big stuff at home because Santa will, of course, have dropped those of ready for when you get back, but he also didn’t forget you so make sure you have a few little things for the kids to open. Manage expectations on this, tell them that he knows you have luggage restrictions, but if you can keep some space free in your bag or pay for the excess on the way back you could always order a few things online to arrive at your destination or do a bit of shopping when you get there. Santa could always leave a note for them saying there is a surprise waiting at home. And If you can get a family member or friend to arrange them under the tree or filling their sacks, for you when you get back, even better.
Keep Your Familiar Traditions
Every family has something that says ‘Christmas’ immediately to everyone, perhaps a small decoration, a personalised stocking, favourite chocolate tree ornaments or even an advent calendar are all packable and can make a massive difference in those inevitable, ‘but how will Santa find me?’ moments.
Pack Familiar Comforts Too
Pack a few familiar treats for the kids just in case you can’t get the things they love out there; it’s surprising how well a favourite food can work as an incentive for kids if Christmas dinner turns out to be a bit more exotic than expected. As you would normally, just make sure they have their blankets and favourite toys and if you have a little one who might struggle with sleeping somewhere new or with the time difference then have a look for the best pack n play mattress to make sure they are as comfy as possible.
Make local Christmas Traditions Part of the Fun Too
You might be going somewhere where festive celebrations are rife, if so this is great, there’ll be Father Christmas’ everywhere, and they won’t miss anything, however, if you go somewhere where Christmas isn’t such a big thing then think local, do what the locals do and make it an adventure. Your smaller kids will just need a bit warning for what they can expect, a sunny beach is fantastic fun on Christmas day, as long as that’s what they’re expecting.
Make Sure You Speak to Everyone At Home
Don’t forget to speak to all the important grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins back home. Make sure you get on Skype or FaceTime to the family, so have your apps and devices organised before you go, and don’t forget your phone chargers. Also, check the connection where you’re staying, so there’s not a load of buffering and screen freezing.
One final thing, don’t forget to reassure any of your little ones about Santa’s all-seeing, all-knowing powers. If that’s not enough, then write together telling him about your holiday plans and send it off to the North Pole before you go, just in case.